The Shih-Tzu is a breed of dog that originated in China. They are known for their lion-like appearance with their long flowing “mane” and silky coat that drapes over their long bodies.
A companion dog, Shih Tzu dogs were kept by Tibetan monks as holy dogs and later by Chinese Emperors in their opulent palaces. It was said that when people or animals approach, the Shih Tzu would bark in order to alert the palace people of unwanted visitors. Recent DNA analysis confirmed that the Shih-Tzu is one of the most ancient breeds of dog still in existence.
The Shihtzu is a lively and alert dog. Its noble Chinese ancestry as a palace companion befits its proud bearing. It stands with a markedly arrogant posture, carrying its head just so and its tail curved over the back.
Owning A Shih Tzu
Now, that you know a little about the history, ancestry and characteristics of a Shih Tzu, do you know if it is the right pet for you and your family?
Not all Shihtzus are the same. There are energetic dogs of this breed while there are placid ones. There are stubborn Shih Tzus and there are those that have a sweet nature. There are ones that are utterly serious while others are natural goofballs. If you have decided to get Shih Tzu puppies, you have no way of knowing how it will grow up to be like. The only control you have is on the training stage and how you deal with each concern potentially occurring in this particular breed.
Common Shih-Tzu Concerns
• Separation Anxiety
Shih-Tzus are companion dogs and as companion dogs, their devotion to their masters can be absolute. In other words, the breed has the tendency to develop “Velcro” personalities, usually towards a particular person in the family. Their loyalty and devotion often compel them never to leave their person’s side. They would accompany you wherever you go, even to the bathroom.
While some people may find this trait adorable because it shows just how much your pet loves you, there are those who might not like this form of attachment and prefer more independent pets. Moreover, the Shih-Tzus separation anxiety could lead to the development of destructive behavior, such as chewing on your belongings.
That’s why when deciding whether or not to get this breed for a pet, consider its “Velcro” personality. If you are out of the house most of the time and can’t take your pet with you, then perhaps this breed is not right for you.
One thing you can expect from your Shih-Tzu is that it has spirit. In fact, the breed is so spirited it translates to stubbornness if not corrected through proper training.
Unlike Golden Retrievers or other complacent breeds, the Shih Tzu has a mind of its own. Thus, don’t be surprised if your Shih-Tzu suddenly decides not to obey your command one day. They can also be pretty manipulative, using its charm as a companion dog to get what it wants.
This could be a problem. You must show them who the boss is without using physical force or yelling. Instead, use a firm but gentle voice to get them in line.
• Grooming Requirements
As with all long-haired dogs, the Shih Tzu can be quite demanding when it comes to grooming. Its long, silky hair won’t stay long and silky for long if you do not employ frequent brushing. Mats in the hair could form, which could cause skin irritation and scratching by your dog. To avoid any potentially expensive veterinary care and grooming, you are better off doing the grooming yourself.
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